City Stories and the Value of Brand – Seminar on Shanghai Brand Project Begins


(Jan. 28, Shanghai) The seminar on Shanghai Brand Project - ‘City Stories and the Value of Brand’ opened in DeTao CCIC Building in Shanghai on the afternoon of Jan. 28, 2015.

The seminar saw representatives from Shanghai Songjiang District Economic and Information Technology Committee attend, along with members of Shanghai Songjiang District Culture, Radio and TV Administration, and Fangsong Community Committee. Furthermore, Professor Xie Qin from Shanghai Institute of Visual Art, Professor Florin Baeriswyl, DeTao Master of Brand Strategy & Design and MR. Zhang Ying, Managing Director of DeTao (Shanghai) Design Service Co., Ltd attended the event. Representatives from Asia-Pacific Designer Association, Shanghai Overseas Students Association were also present to share their views.

Attendees of the seminar voiced opinions on how best to begin their qualitative research. The scheme aimed at diversifying city brand while creating more value for the city of Shanghai. Professor Florin Baeriswyl, DeTao Master of Brand Strategy & Design, was appointed by Shanghai’s mayor Mr. Yang Xiong to design the ‘city name card’ based on his years of experience with international brands. Professor Baeriswyl illustrated the main points in developing brands and expressed his hope in working with DeTao and Shanghai Institute of Visual Art to strengthen Shanghai’s brand around the world.

According to the briefing made by Mr. Zhang Ying, Managing Director of DeTao (Shanghai) Design Service Co., Ltd, the city brand project of Shanghai would incorporate the opinions contributed by different parties and review the existing assets, track record and orientation of the brand itself. Additionally, the strategy would be updated and management would be regulated, resulting in a brand strategy white paper, feature theme, and various useful apps. Success in the current stage relies on conducting fundamental research and reviewing existing brand assets with new demands. The seminar’s achievement depends upon the preliminary research efforts leading up to the official project launch.

Discussants of the seminar included civil servants of government agencies, university professors, brand strategy researchers, culture and art professionals, company employees, overseas students, and media professionals. Mr. Liu Fusheng, Director of Shanghai Songjiang District Economic and Information Technology Committee, expressed his wishes as a senior citizen of Shanghai. He hoped the project could restore exaggerated, distorted, and outdated information, but more importantly project a true image of Shanghai to those unfamiliar with the city.

Professor Xie Qin from Shanghai Institute of Visual Art also shared her insights on the project. A detail she drew attention to was the different eras of Shanghai that were characterized by music, like ‘Night in Shanghai’, ‘Butterfly Lovers’, and ‘Jasmine Flower’. Such household tunes, however, were rarely heard in today’s society and Professor Xie asked that the project team could incorporate music when designing Shanghai’s city brand.

Other attendees joined group discussions on topics such as essential words to be used in Shanghai’s brand, the best promotion campaigns showcasing Shanghai’s city, and characteristic figures, cuisines, artworks, business & culture. The participants expressed views based on their life experience and job duties. The rigorousness of Shanghai’s senior technicians, the World Expo, the petite bourgeoisie, the Eileen Chang-like hypercritical style, and four-grill weever, provided abundant inspiration for the project. Finally, they agreed that the design of a city brand should break away from the confines of time and that the city’s DNA should be observed from different perspectives, be it social, livelihood or economic.

The project was launched in December, 2014 and follows the guidelines of the 12th Five-Year Plan. The scheme aims to fuel the cultural creative industry of Shanghai, to enhance the value of the city brand, and to facilitate Shanghai’s efforts in establishing itself globally as a cultural metropolis and capital of design. The project is jointly undertaken by Shanghai Institute of Visual Art and DeTao while implemented by the studio of DeTao Master of Brand Strategy & Design Professor Florin Baeriswyl. Ultimately, the project will consider the essence and value of the city brand while following the guidelines of music to discover a well-founded brand that is cultivated and characteristic of a thriving metropolis.